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Living Well

Fridays (with Benefits) - Will health care ever use tech to its full potential?

For all the coverage we give to digital health care tools, the truth is the people that use them (your doctors and clinicians) rarely have the time to learn them, much less implement them. While there's no doubt medical professionals see the benefits of digital innovation, adoption simply isn't where it needs to be for it to impact the larger health care community.

Let's see what Employee Benefit News had to say about this.

Getting digital transformation in healthcare on the fast track - Juan Pablo Segura, special to Employee Benefit News

Money and time -- two things that usually get in the way of learning and progress. And health care is no exception. Doctors simply don't have the time to evaluate new tools and processes, when their established workflows aren't necessarily "broken." Not to mention the potential lost time if a tool doesn't pan out the way it's meant to.

And who could blame them? As it stands, most doctors are already seeing fewer patients per day due to increases in administrative responsibilities. They simply can't risk losing revenue due to fewer appointments and potentially expensive tech trials. Because of this, major tech decisions for hospitals and clinics aren't being made by the people that need these tools, and are instead made by administrators who wouldn't be using the tools at all.

Segura paints a compelling argument about how -- before digital innovations are introduced -- physicians need to assess the areas of their job in most need of transformation, and think about change from that perspective. Of course, this also requires time, which means fewer patient appointments per day ... and so the wheel keeps turning.

No matter if its higher patient expenses, or more taxation to cover these needs, this is going to be costly. But we still need to consider how digital innovation could improve cost savings over time. Between better patient outcomes, more-efficient processes and more-accurate testing, the long term results of tech implementation could far outweigh the short-term losses.

Something to consider for the coming year, to be sure.

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Fridays (with Benefits) is a weekly roundup of the latest headlines about employee benefits -- from FSAs to fitness programs and everything workplace wellness. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the FSAstore.com Learning Center. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Basics

Fridays (with Benefits) - 4/26/19 - A digital revolution is underway in employee benefits

Employee Benefit News is a publication we reference a lot in this column, because of its ongoing coverage of the benefits industry (and how it might affect FSA and HSA owners). So, when the site's editors highlight the people and companies helping to change the employee benefits landscape, we take notice.

This year's Digital Innovators award recipients shine some light on all the different ways benefits are evolving through connected platforms. From things as simple as online video series and apps aimed at retirement planning, to more complex apps centered on employee accountability, it's clear that the world of benefits is taking a major leap to improve engagement in the workplace.

"Going digital" is hardly a new concept for modern business, but it's still great to see these platforms improve the way we work and live, in and out of the office. Let's take a closer look.

20 digital innovators transforming benefits, HR - Caroline Hroncich, Kathryn Mayer - Employee Benefit News

According to the article, EBN received dozens of nominations from readers, along with some choices from editors and industry experts, to create a comprehensive list of 20 deserving recipients. We obviously can't cover them all here, but let's check out a few of the standouts for 2019.

Rosario Avila and Andrew McNeil, founders of BenefitsTV
Avila and McNeil created BenefitsTV — a series of videos posted to social media —after they couldn't find any benefits content in video form. Since teaming up, the two benefits advisers have posted more than 50 short videos for YouTube and Instagram.

Mike Cardillo, co-founder and president, HandsFree Health
Cardillo's company created the new voice-activated device WellBe, which responds to voice commands like other virtual assistants, but targeted for answering questions based on the owner's individual healthcare and benefits information.

Brian Hamilton, vice president of SmartDollar
SmartDollar is an online and app-based financial program designed to educate employees to proactively take control of their money and get on track for retirement.

These three are really just the tip of the innovation iceberg highlighted in the article, so we strongly recommend taking a few minutes to see the list in full. Even if you're completely happy with your benefits (as an employer or employee) you might just find something to make them even better for everyone involved.

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Fridays (with Benefits) is a weekly roundup of the latest headlines about employee benefits -- from FSAs to fitness programs and everything workplace wellness. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the FSAstore.com Learning Center. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.